A Few Loose Packs

After deciding I was restarting my basketball collecting, a natural early step towards that was heading to the local target to pick up a couple of packs. I came away with two packs of 2016-17 Donruss and one pack of 2016-17 NBA Hoops. Here are the highlights of the packs.

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First the best of the base cards from the Hoops pack. Sabonis is the 20 year old son of basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis. He played in the Rising Stars game for the World Team on Friday night as part of NBA All-Star weekend. He’s averaging 6.1 points per game in 21.7 minutes per game off the bench for the OKC Thunder after being the 11th overall pick in last year’s draft.

Dirk Nowitzki needs no introduction. We go from a rookie to one of the top international players of all-time. He’s averaging 20.2 points per game over his last 5.

And John Wall is having his best season yet as the Wizards have surged up the Eastern Conference standings.

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The insert from the first pack is a Faces of the Future card of Heat forward Justice Winslow. In my opinion this insert set would look a whole lot better if the color scheme matched the team’s uniforms.

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The best of the base cards from the Donruss packs. I’d be glad to pull just about any card of Anthony Davis these days. Remember when Jeremy Lin was a hot pull? I like the Donruss design a bit better than the Hoops base design.

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The only rookie I pulled from the two Donruss packs that was a first round selection was Siakam, the 27th pick in the draft for Toronto. As with many rookies his playing time has been inconsistent in his rookie season.

Hall Kings is an insert set I can get behind. Sharp design with multiple images of the player. Can’t recall pulling too many cards of Dantley. He did play for the Pacers during the 1977-78 season. This means I do need his autograph for my Pacers autograph collection. He was a six-time All-Star, all with the Jazz. Though his best statistical seasons were with the Jazz, he is probably pictured as a Piston because of the team’s deep playoff runs in 1987 and 1888, where they lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals 4-3 and in the NBA Finals to the Lakers 4-3, respectively. Just looking at the numbers for Dantley, the thing that jumps off the page to me outside of averaging over 30 ppg in four seasons, is his career field goal percentage as a small forward. 54% for his career, good for 27th best in league history. If you look at that list, though, you’ll notice most players as power fowards or centers.

Lastly we have a red press proof #’d out of 75 of Lou Williams. There’s also silver /299, purple /199, Red /25, Gold /10 and Black 1/1s. So while I got one of the rarer press proofs, I would have preferred a different player. Nice shot of Lou going in for a jam, though.

I generally like to at least sample each product that shows up in Wal-mart or Target with a pack or two. I prefer Donruss to Hoops this year and I look forward to the Optic brand to try to pick up some shiny Pacers.


Box Break: 2011-12 Panini Hoops

Panini Hoops has 8 cards per pack, 36 packs per hobby box. Each box typically contains two autographed cards per box, a glossy parallel card or two, an Artist’s proof parallel card or two, and a myriad of insert cards. Here is what Hoops Hobby pulled.


Artist’s Proof (1): Tayshaun Prince
Glossy (2): Patrick Patterson, Daniel Gibson


A Night to Remember (4): Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Dwyane Wade, Jason Terry
Action Photos (3): Kevin Love, Amare Stoudemire, Stephen Curry


Courtside (3): Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce
Slam Dunk Champions (3): Kenny ‘Sky’ Walker, Josh Smith, Blake Griffin


Hall of Fame Heroes (4): Nate Thurmond, John Havlicek, David Robinson, Dolph Schayes


Hoop Dreams (1): James Harden


Autographs (2): Hasheem Thabeet, Randy Foye

Impressions:

For a sub-$50 box, Hoops delivers as advertised, providing a bunch of inserts and parallels and the two autos per box, with a shot at a nice one (Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, etc…)

Some of these insert sets I like and may even try to complete myself. I find I enjoy the simple set designs like ‘Hoop Dreams’ and ‘Courtside’. The Slam Dunk set and ‘A Night to Remember’ have too much going on in one card.

The autographs are underwhelming, with this box providing Hasheem Thabeet (not afraid to go ahead and label Hasheem a big bust), and bench player Randy Foye. It’s a shame these autographs aren’t on-card, but again, for a sub-$50 product, can’t complain.

Hoops appeals to the crowd that likes opening a ton of cards, pulling a ton of inserts, and loves pulling multiple cards of their favorite players. Many of the stars have multiple base cards in this release. The base cards could be used for TTM autograph collectors and in-person autographs. While the value is good for the price, the potential for this release is so high, though, and it comes as a slight disappointment to me just because of some of the insert sets being underwhelming in design. I would like to see future releases such as these modeled after the 2010-11 Donruss product, which had a similar starting price point and received more praise from collectors.


Pack Break: Panini Hoops Pack Four

Last pack of our four pack Panini Hoops break.  Here’s what we opened:

#29 Baron Davis (Knicks practice jersey)
#72 Jordan Hill
#86 Al-Farouq Aminu (Hornets jersey)
#122 Dwyane Wade
#164 Landry Fields
#179 Jameer Nelson
#225 Andrea Bargnani
#258 Kobe Bryant 

It was nice to see some big names in this last pack. As you can see in the image above, some of the base cards feature players in all-star jerseys. Although we didn’t pull any autograph in our packs, three inserts in four packs along with some star players is nothing to complain about, considering you should find autographs one in 18 packs. Hope to bring more pack/box breaks to you soon!

Also, quick reminder about our playoff survivor contest. More details coming soon!


Pack Break: Panini Hoops Pack Three

Pack three from our four pack Panini Hoops pack break. Here is what we opened in pack three:

#16 D.J. Augustin
#58 Tracy McGrady
#73 Kevin Martin
#105 Shane Battier
#147 Brook Lopez
#203 Armon Johnson
#244 Ronny Turiaf
Hall of Fame Heroes #14 David Robinson 

Three inserts in three packs thus far, can’t complain there. I would like to see these Heroes in color, though. Last pack of our small break tomorrow.


Pack Break: Panini Hoops Pack Two

Pack two of our pack break of NBA Hoops. Here’s what we found:

#25 Luol Deng
#82 George Hill
#140 Luke Ridnour
#155 Jason Smith
#197 Hakim Warrick
#204 Gerald Wallace
#239 Mehmet Okur
Slam Dunk Champion #11 Josh Smith 

Definitely a fan of the idea on the Dunk Champion insert set. Only complaint on the Josh Smith card is how small Josh Smith appears in the photo on the right. Surely there’s a better photo from that particular dunk contest that would be closer zoomed in. The result on the card above is a ton of dark, blank space. Check back tomorrow for pack three.


Pack Break: Panini Hoops Pack One

Not having opened any packs of 11-12 cards yet this year, I decided to pick up four hobby packs of the relatively new Panini Hoops product from a local card store. I am opening a pack a day and posting the results to give an idea of what the typical pack contains. The first pack had the following:

#9 Glen Davis
#67 Jeremy Lin
#126 Ersan Ilyasova
#148 Cole Aldrich
#183 Craig Brackins
#211 Jason Thompson
#246 JaVale McGee
Hoops Dreams #6 Stephen Curry 

Already a fan of the inserts- an inexpensive set paired with sharp looking inserts make a good product for me.

Also can’t go wrong with pulling Jeremy Lin’s first card in a Knick uniform! More to come tomorrow.


Box Break: 2010-11 Panini Prestige Retail

The Set:
2010-11 Panini Prestige
8 packs per retail box, 10 cards per retail pack
150 card base veterans and legends, 95 rookies (2 versions for each)
Bonus Shots parallel (#’d versions out of 499, 249, 49, 25 and rookies out of 999)
Franchise Favorites inserts and memorabilia versions
Playmakers inserts and memorabilia and autograph versions
Hardcourt Heroes inserts and memorabilia versions
Inside the Numbers inserts and memorabilia versions
Old School Inserts and memorabilia and autograph versions
NBA Draft Class inserts
Prestigious Picks inserts and memorabilia verions
Prestigious Pros inserts and memorabilia versions
Stars of the NBA inserts and memorabilia versions
Stat Stars inserts and memorabilia and autograph versions
Super Sophs inserts and memorabilia verions
True Colors inserts and memorabilia verions
NBA Draft Class Logo autographs

Our Break:


Rookies (8): John Wall, Paul George, Cole Aldrich, Greivis Vasquez, Quincy Pondexter x2 (both versions), Al-Farouq Aminu, Devin Ebanks,


Bonus Shots /499 (1): Amare Stoudemire


Franchise Favorites (1): Dwight Howard


Playmakers (1): Tyreke Evans


Prestigious Picks Materials Green /499 (1): James Anderson

Impressions:

Lacking a hobby box to break this week, I turned to my local Target and found this retail box on sale.  The results are pretty typical of what to expect from a retail box. Pulling the John Wall was fortunate and made the break an above average one, but with the rookies included and the game worn card, which I imagine is included at one-per-box on average, you could do much worse on a retail break.

The base set has both legends and current players.  It was nice to find old favorites such as Muggsey Bogues and Dell Curry in the product along with new stars of the game.

Honestly since I opened a few packs of Prestige upon its release, I’ve felt the base set design a bit lacking.  The gray splashes on the right don’t do anything for me, although the photography used for many of the cards is pretty exciting, such as in the Kobe for example.

If you can find these boxes, particularly at a discounted price, they are worth picking up for a fun break that delivers on rookies, inserts and memorablia cards.